Photographer Snaps Photos of Loved Ones Right After He Tells Them He Has HIV

In his latest project, “I Have Something to Tell You,” Florida photographer Adrain Chesser snapped photos of his family and friends just moments after he told them he was HIV-positive. The collection portrays an array of emotions, from shock to befuddlement to just plain pity. But the process, Chesser told the Huffington Post, helped him conquer the fear of opening up to his loved ones:

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Provocative LGBT Images Up for Grabs in Zoe Strauss Silent Auction

"Women Kissing" is one of the LGBT-centric images available in Zoe Strauss's silent auction for First Person Arts.

“Women Kissing” is one of the LGBT-centric images available in Zoe Strauss’s silent auction for First Person Arts.

Out Philly photographer Zoe Strauss has released a series of images from her 2007 documentary project, “If You Break the Skin, You Must Come In,” to a silent auction benefitting First Person Arts. The project was inspired by a sign she saw off the interstate in southwest Philadelphia advertising an AIDS prevention clinic. The original image, which was included in her 10-year retrospective in 2012 at Philadelphia Museum of Art, is included in the auction.

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Photo Exhibit Documents Last Days of Philadelphia Schools

Philadelphia School Closings Photo Collective Finkle

The Philadelphia School Closing Photo Collective, a project marshaled by Zoe Strauss, will begin a weeklong exhibit of 20 of its photographs at West Philly’s Scribe Video Center on 42nd and Chestnut Streets starting October 16th. The photos document the physical and emotional blackness of the last days of some of the 24 shuttered Philadelphia schools.

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New Project Highlights Our ‘GAYFACE’

GAYFACE-TOP

New York-based activist/photographer Ashley Kolodner is on an ambitious mission to highlight our pretty gay mugs in her latest project, aptly named “GAYFACE: 1st Class.” The work is a collection of diptych photo portraits of a rainbow of queer folk that she says empowers the queer community and highlights the beauty within all of us, regardless of where we fall on the LGBTQ spectrum.

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Meet the World’s First Female Men’s Model

Suits, slacks and flats punctuate this model’s look. But Casey Legler may not be what you expect – she’s a female model who’s been showing off menswear at one of the top agencies in the world. Time recently profiled the six-foot-two-inch cover girl, where she discussed her bid as an Olympic swimmer back in the day (shaved head and all) and why she tends to steer away from terms like “gender identity.”

Check it out:

A Day With HIV

Courtesy of A Day With HIV

Almost 7,000 people, including 900 children, contract HIV every day around the world. They join an estimated 34.2 million people already living with the disease. On Friday, Sept, 21, people everywhere – those who are both HIV positive and negative – are being asked to share images from their lives.

Positively Aware created the “A Day With HIV” campaign three years ago so that people around the world can share digital photographs recording moments of their day. The goal? To focus attention on the daily trials and triumphs of people living with and impacted by HIV and AIDS through a collective portrait project.

“We’re asking everyone affected by HIV, whether they are positive or negative, to share with all of us an image of their life that expresses what it means to live with HIV,” says Jeff Berry of Positively Aware.

Here’s how to participate:

Take a picture on Sept. 21 that best reflects your life – be it with family, friends, at work or somehow relating to what it means to live or be impacted by the disease.

Photos need to be submitted by Tuesday, Sept. 25, on the project’s website or via email (photo@adaywithhiv.com). People can also follow “A Day with HIV” on Facebook and Twitter (@A_Day_With_HIV) to see updates and share photographs.

The final photos selected for the photo essay of “A Day with HIV” will be announced in October 2012 and select images will be published in the November/December issue of Positively Aware magazine – with four unique covers for this special issue.

“Their images, captured over a single day,” says Berry, “will create a rich photographic tapestry of hope, strength and support.”

What We Love: Half-Drag

The lashes, the lipstick and the wigs. That’s usually what we think of when we picture our favorite queens (looking at you, Brittany Lynn!). But one photographer is taking a deeper look at the men behind the divas. Leland Bobbé‘s “Half-Drag” is an incredible photo series that captures some of New York’s drag performers – both in makeup and in their natural states.

On his website, Bobbé, a portrait, lifestyle and street photographer, says the idea for the series sprang from his ongoing work documenting the city’s burlesque performers. “My intention with Half-Drag is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image,” says the photographer.

Check it out:

Chandelier Period by Leland Bobbé

Azraea by Leland Bobbé

Miss Fame by Leland Bobbé

Click here to view more images from the series.

Call for Artists

Got art? The William Way LGBT Community Center would like to hear from you. The center is hosting its 7th Annual Juried Arts Show this month (May 18- June 29). Up to three artists will be selected as winners – and they will be featured in exhibitions in the 2013 calendar year.

Kaytie Johnson, the Rochelle F. Levy Director and Curator of The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, is this year’s juror. Prior to her position at Moore, she’s worked at art institutions around the country like DePauw University in Indiana, as well as the Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona State University Art Museum. Johnson’s curatorial projects have included “Andy Warhol: I Am a Camera” and a performance art experience with Guillermo Gómez-Peña. She is a regular contributor to the contemporary art journal Artpulse.

Works that are selected will be on sale – the center asks for a 35 percent commission on all works sold.

Here’s how you can enter:

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Kelly A. Burkhardt’s “Atomic Age”

"London Carousel" by Kelly A. Burkhardt

Part street photography and part stylized digital imagery, “Atomic Age” opens this Friday (May 4) at Ven & Vaida Gallery. It’s the first solo photography exhibit by out filmmaker Kelly A. Burkhardt, the programmer for Philadelphia Qfest, as well as an award-winning filmmaker and member of the Midwives Collective & Gallery.

We talked to the artist – who’s been living between Philadelphia and New York thanks to her role as vice president of operations for TLA Releasing - about her influences. The vibrant images in this recent show have been shaped by everything from David LaChapelle to her extensive travels around the world to London, Florence and Berlin. She also gives us the low down on another upcoming show – this time for Phreak N Queer Arts Festival – in August.

What’s the inspiration for “Atomic Age?”

It’s hard to answer that question because this show grew organically, actually. I presented Butch Cordora, who is the new curator at Ven & Vaida, multiple images from the last 10 years and he selected the images for the show. And I love what was chosen! “Atomic Age” is a collection of some street photography and portraits, so the inspiration really runs the gamut, but they all have a consistent retro look and feel – which is something that I am always drawn to as an artist.

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Queer History on the Move

Courtesy of Pop-Up Museum of Queer History

The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is coming to Philadelphia. Starting April 21, the museum will spend one month at the William Way LGBT Community Center. Since its inception more than a year ago, thousands of people have seen its work across the country and online. But like each moving show, this one offers a regional perspective – and it has Philly written all over it.

“Pop-Up Philadelphia presents nearly 20 exhibits that approach the question of queer history from vastly different points of entry geographically, temporally and formally,” says Hugh Ryan, founding director of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History. ”We have work that deals with current legal issues in Uganda, the criminalization of trans-bodies in mid-17th century America, personal recollections of the first March on Washington for queer rights, and the lives of black lesbian elders.”

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